French government vows to speed up vaccinations

French government vows to speed up vaccinations
# 04 January 2021 22:14 (UTC +04:00)

The French government has defended its coronavirus vaccination policy against criticism that it is going far too slowly, with 516 vaccinations reported in the first week, APA reports citing BBC.

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal said the delay was down to logistics: teams had to visit elderly people in care homes and get each person's consent.

The EU began vaccinating with Pfizer/BioNTech doses on 27 December.

The EU admits that limited production capacity has created "bottlenecks".

Besides France, there has been sharp criticism in Germany and the Netherlands concerning vaccination delays, as tight lockdown restrictions remain in force, with Covid-19 cases surging.

By Sunday morning about 240,000 had been vaccinated in Germany - far more than in France, but well short of the 1.3 million doses delivered to Germany by the end of December.

Meanwhile, more than a million have been vaccinated in the UK, which approved the Pfizer vaccine in early December.

The Netherlands is the only EU country yet to start its vaccination campaign. The launch had been set for 8 January, but has just been brought forward to Wednesday.

In Italy, by Sunday 118,554 people had been vaccinated, the national broadcaster Rai said.

But the vaccination rates vary from region to region. Densely populated Lombardy, the epicentre of Europe's pandemic last March and still Italy's biggest hotspot, has done 3.8% of its planned 80,595 vaccinations, in the first phase of Italy's campaign.

The figures are higher in some other regions, such as Veneto (40.3%) and Piedmont (31%).